Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute

Organized by:
Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute

Participating Organizations:

Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute University of California, Irvine Virginia Tech’s Translational Biology, Medicine, and Health Graduate Program Dana Foundation Family Services of Roanoke Brain Injury Associate of Southwest Virginia

Event(s) Summary

Number of Events Organized During Brain Awareness Week:




Type of Events Held:

  • Lecture/ Briefing
  • Other
  • Press Briefing
  • Other: Brain food outreach with local restuarants

Target Audiences:

  • General Public
  • High School students(9-12)
  • Patients & Caregivers
  • Professionals
  • University students

Approximate Number of People Reached:


Details of Major Brain Awareness Week Events/Activities:

The Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute hosted four public lectures during Brain Awareness Week, focusing on the theme of brain development and re-development (healing after injury or illness). The first three lectures were hosted by VTCRI neuroscientists (talk topics: neurorehabilitation, neurofeedback, and neuroplasticity). The fourth talk was by Dr. Greg Duncan from the University of California, on early education. The talks were crafted to communicate highly scientific information to the general public, including high school and college students. Program objectives included starting conversations about the current state of neuroscience and future directions of the field, and, based on the feedback from attendees, we achieved that goal. The VTCRI also promoted brain-healthy nutrition in collaboration with local restaurants with postcards designed to entice people to choose better brain food. We improved our outreach scope and included more interactive elements (attendees could hold a real human brain, as well as participate in the much-loved Q&A sessions), but we could and will do even better next year.

Event Planning & Publicity

Publicity Methods Used:

  • Calendar Listings (newspapers, radio, television)
  • Emails
  • Posters/Flyers
  • Press Release/Media Advisory
  • Website
  • Social Media

Which of These Publicity Methods Was The Most Successful?

The press release led to media coverage, which certainly expanded our publicity efforts. Our social media campaign also seemed to go over well, as we received several comments about our brain factoids. A few people learned about Brain Awareness Week from our restaurant nutrition cards.


Of the Dana Foundation publications/resources distributed at your event(s), if any, please indicate the three most popular. Please choose up to three. If "other," please indicate below:

  • Q&A: Answering Your Questions About Brain Research
  • It’s Mindboggling!
  • More Mindbogglers!
  • Staying Sharp Bookmark
  • BAW Stickers
  • BAW Pencils and Erasers
  • Staying Sharp: Successful Aging and the Brain

What other downloadable materials would you like the Foundation to provide?

  • Fact Sheets
  • New Puzzles/Games

Which BAW graphic materials did you use in publicizing your events?

  • BAW Logos

Feedback & Keys to Success

How do you feel BAW participation benefited your organization and the local community?

The immediate benefit of BAW participation is that it offered an opportunity for our community members to visit our Institute. The format of the talks geared to non-scientists gave the audience members insight into the work, as well as the researchers, at the Institute. We host other events, but BAW seems to offer more relatable and understandable material for the public at large. After all, everyone has a brain.

Please share any suggestions or lessons learned that may help others plan future events:

We highly suggest an interactive element for any BAW activity, as well as activities geared toward specific age groups (i.e.: perhaps a lecture on aging for the general public, and an activity building brains with play-doh would be good for young children). We also suggest a surveying attendees/participants to track metrics.

Did/do you like our Facebook page?


Was the information provided on Facebook useful?

Yes, I would suggest possible templates for outside use, such as images with the BAW logo already in place that could have text or images overlaid and customized for external institutes.

Event Photos

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Contact Information

BAW Website:

Contact Name:

Ashley WennersHerron

Contact Phone:


Contact Email:

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